Arsenal's Dreary Summer: What Beating Portsmouth Means for Arsenal Fans
If Stan Kroenke takes over Arsenal in the summer and offers up big bucks for the transfer pool (unlikely though that may be), Saturday's 3-nil defeat of Portsmouth by Arsenal should be, and was quite possibly meant as, a reminder that Arsene Wenger won't be spending the bucks on anything resembling an established player.
For anyone who has been paying attention, there will not be a new Keeper coming into the Emirates. Almunia is Arsenal's No. 1, considered by Wenger to be "the cream of the Premier League," and he is at Emirates and England to stay. Fabianski and Mannone will remain his backups. There will be no shake up in goal.
There could be a shake-up in defense, maybe. But is that likely? The only way a shake-up is truly going to happen is if Kolo Toure rattles the door for an exit again, and Senderos doesn't return to fill the gap.
Those are two too many "ifs" for anything serious to change on Arsenal's backline. Wenger will rely on the full backs he has, and their cover (which, to be fair, is one of Arsenal's strengths), and he will imagine the fitness of Gallas, Silvestre, Toure and Djourou will be more than enough to get him through in the centre.
Expect Havard Nordveit to start playing with the big boys now and then, and expect an unknown French defender to make his way to the Emirates as a back up. But expect nothing else.
Expect absolutely no changes in the midfield. Song has earned the right to play defensive midfield, and Wenger is going to stick with Diaby and Denilson no matter what their play suggests.
Nasri, Fabregas and Arshavin will remain the mainstays. But as Arsene reminded us against Portsmouth, there are four (dare I say five) young Gunners who will be making the step up soon, and Arsene will not want to bring in anyone new to hurt their chances of a first-team spot.
Ramsey is a guaranteed contender next season. Wilshere, Merida, Randall, and Bischoff will all be brought through by Arsene.
Oh, there'll be plenty of talk about Gokhan Inler and other folks, but nothing will come of it. Did I forget Rosicky? I am sure Wenger hasn't, and we'll keep hearing about his imminent return all season long.
Up front there is likely to be only one change and that is Adebayor out and someone in to replace him. Who's coming in?
Santa Cruz seems a good bet with Salomon Kalou as another possibility, or someone we've never heard of from France.
Regardless, we'll be watching Bendtner take over Adebayor's role, with Van Persie and Eduardo struggling with their injuries all season and Vela finally stepping into their role because he'll remain fit, and they won't.
At Fratton Park, Arsene Wenger started Ramsey in the midfield and brought in Bischoff, Merida and Randall, as much to remind us of what's to come as to "blood" his young players and give his main squad a break. And the same goes for Vela/Bendtner up top.
Don't expect money to be spent because it simply will not happen. Not as long as Arsene Wenger is in charge.
Until Fabregas and Van Persie head for greener pastures, Arshavin is the last big name you're going to see coming to the Emirates.
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